By Ryan Hickey, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa.- While many wrestlers on the Nittany Lion squad hail from
Pennsylvania, 19 of 31 to be exact, McIntosh is a rare recruit from the West
There were many factors that drove the senior to pick Penn State, mainly head
coach Cael Sanderson. McIntosh initially had his sights set on Iowa State,
where Sanderson was coaching at the time. When the coach made the move to Happy
Valley, McIntosh turned his attention to Penn State.
"I took a lot of recruiting trips and took five official visits to schools, but
when I took my trip here and met [Sanderson] and the guys, that's what drew me
here," said McIntosh.
Wrestling, you could say, runs in the McIntosh blood, as Morgan's dad wrestled
in high school and a little bit in college. The All-American started wrestling
at eight years old and once he started wrestling, there was no getting McIntosh
off the mat.
"I fell in love it right off the bat. It felt natural for me to wrestle," said
McIntosh. "I love the one-on-one aspect of the sport and how competitive and
physical it can be."
Since wrestling is an individual sport, each wrestler gets themselves ready
both physically and mentally in their own way. For McIntosh, he finds his
motivation in his passion for the sport.
"For me, my motivation is that it's a fun sport and I love to do it and I love
to compete," said McIntosh. "I want to compete and help win a national title
for my team."
One of the coaches who works the most with McIntosh and is a person that the
senior looks up to is Casey Cunningham. Cunningham, who was recently inducted
into MAC Hall of Fame, is in his sixth year as an assistant coach. The biggest
attribute McIntosh says that Cunningham brings is his attitude, as he is a fun
guy to have in the wrestling room.
"He's such a good coach and is great at explaining technique and getting down
in the nitty-gritty details and explaining things," said McIntosh. "He always
brings something interesting to the wrestling room with his crazy beard and
baggy sweatpants. He's a funny dude and it's fun having him in our wrestling
Having three years of collegiate wrestling under his belt, McIntosh has had
many opportunities to wrestle on the big stage and has learned a lot from these
moments. McIntosh is currently ranked No. 1 in the 197-pound weight class. The
senior is a two-time All-American and finished third in his weight class at
Nationals in March.
"My freshman year, I was worn out towards the end of the year and looking at
the tournaments, I think I looked ahead too much instead of taking it one match
at a time," said McIntosh. "When you do that, you wear yourself out even before
The biggest thing McIntosh learned is how to take care of his body off the mat
and make sure he is healthy and sharp once competition comes.
"Over the years I've also learned a lot about my body. You learn when to take a
break, let things heal or let your mind recover from putting in the work. I
think just learning about your body and how you need to train before a
competition is a big thing I've learned over the last three years," McIntosh
While there are no voted on team captains, McIntosh is primed to be one of the
main leaders for the Nittany Lions this season. The senior is one of three on
the team and the California native exudes his leadership in a lead by example
style. McIntosh cited how, for the most the most part, he is not a vocal leader
and won't give too many pep talks, and instead will try and provide a path for the
younger wrestlers to follow.
"I try and lead by example so the younger guys can see the things that I do
that I've learned over the years and have them pick up on those," said
McIntosh. "I want to show guys the right things to do both inside and outside
of the wrestling room."
Besides being one of the best on the mat, McIntosh is also well known for his
quirky mode of transportation around campus. Hailing from California, it was
nearly impossible for McIntosh to bring his car up to school. So instead, he
resorted to a cheaper and more convenient way of getting to and from class: a
moped. The senior purchased the vehicle from a former assistant coach and rides
it to class year-round.
"It's fun and really convenient to get around campus and I am known for being
that scooter guy," said McIntosh. "It was a nice and less expensive option as
an out-of-stater than to buy a car or bring one up."
Having to adjust to brutal Pennsylvania winters is another hurdle McIntosh had
to first adjust to when coming to Penn State, but the senior has acclimated
very quickly and now doesn't even mind the winter.
"I like it and it's cool having four seasons. In California, you get a summer,
a little bit of spring, a little bit of fall, and a tiny bit of winter," said
McIntosh. "It's nice having four seasons and getting to see the snow, it's
definitely a cool experience. I think everyone should live somewhere cold at
least for a little bit."
When McIntosh isn't on the mat, he enjoys playing music and jamming out with
his teammates. McIntosh plays both the piano and the guitar. He says how music
is fun and provides an avenue to take his mind off of wrestling. But McIntosh
isn't the only musically inclined wrestler on the team.
"Some other guys on the team enjoy that too, so we get together and play a lot.
Dylan Dailey is a killer drummer, so we go over to his house and he has a sound
system set up in his basement, so we plug in and play."
McIntosh is a criminology major, citing that there are many different career
paths he can go down. In particular, the senior is thinking joining the fire
department, a profession he thinks he can be good at and more importantly, a
job that McIntosh would like to do. Before his career after wrestling begins,
the Santa Anna, Calif. native has his eyes on the ultimate wrestling prize.
"I'll continue to wrestle and manage to stay on with the Nittany Lion Wrestling
Club and compete freestyle and try to win an Olympic medal."